The wide world and the village:
The impact of globalization
on the Indian agriculture
These days even the most laid back village in India has to adapt to an increasingly globalized market. The call for increased productivity and reforms in the indian agricultural sector are currently causing massive change on a social, economical and ecological level for rural India.
Will this change mean better times for the small scale and marginal farmers too?
The majority of India's small scale farmers live in one of the roughly 600‘000 villages of the indian subcontinent. Until today, many of them have remained self supporters with simple farming methods, applying oxplough and manual labour. So far any surplus production used to be sold to governmental agencies for a moderate return or the farmer went to a nearby town to sell his produce on the local market.
How does the transition affect a village?
But now this picture is changing dramatically as with privatization of the agricultural trade it has become interesting to farmers to grow cash crops and many farmers have moved on to produce for the national and international rather than for the local market.
The required adjustment of production methods in the wake of large scale marketing will need intense irrigation, application of synthetic fertilizers, spraying with toxic herbizides, pesticides and fungicides and possibly operation of heavy machinery, which will impose potential risks to the farmer, who is hardly educated in the application of such methods. They are:
- receding groundwater tables and risk of enduring draught
- health hazards from unprotected exposure to toxic chemicals
- harmful residues in food and water
- loss of soil quality and fertility
- risk of accidents
- regressing biodiversity caused by replacing traditional crops with
standardized or genetically modified organisms.
There exists hardly any information about critical values or safety standards and farmers neither know the complex coherences nor the potential risks of such a change.
Invitra.org is an undertaking to empower the farmers of a small village to make informed joices, to live a secure, healthy and wealthy life and to assist the village community to protect themselves and conserve a clean and intact environment.
Invitra.org cooperates with other NGOs, government organizations, corporates and private bodies to establish a knowledge base and to acquire a high degree of expertise for the development of integrated solutions for the issues at hand.
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